National Apprenticeship Week 2022 theme is ‘Build the Future’. I believe that this statement is fully reflective of the need for all industries, not just the construction sector to support. Without providing the development opportunities for our young people, or for those who wish to retrain, which is becoming more vital due to the impacts of Covid-19 on the UK and the world’s economy, we will be without a number of key skills and trained people in the future years to come. In some areas of the construction industry, we are already noticing that there is a skills shortage and that will only become worse if we don’t invest in people now. The benefits of investing into apprenticeships also reach out to our local communities. We can support the people who are living locally, which has a direct positive impact on local infrastructure.
Apprenticeships allow people to study whilst working, which, I believe creates a well-rounded individual. With learning whilst earning, apprentices are able to put into practise the knowledge that they are gaining, creating a positive impact on the work that they produce. Some businesses may be concerned that the element of the 20% off the job study could affect the output and productivity negatively, however the benefits of apprenticeship schemes vastly outweigh that commitment.
When someone first thinks of apprentices, most people’s initial thought is that they are all young people and that is not the case. Our apprentices vary in age, ethnicities and cultures which continues to create a more diverse and inclusive team. Additionally, apprentices often tend to be more motivated individuals, as they recognise the benefit of studying this way and the opportunity that they have gained.
The benefits of apprenticeships also reach those who are in senior roles and creates additional opportunities for these individuals to expand their own technical and soft skills, by being involved in mentoring and development. For those in these roles, this aids with their job satisfaction and enables them to engage with people who they may not have had the opportunity to do so.
If you are debating whether to invest in apprenticeships, my advice is to do it. The benefits to individuals, teams and the wider business are huge. By supporting apprentices with their development, we can help to ensure that the future of our industries is secured.